The key to reading this book is to imagine that you are sitting with the author after a hard day at work. In the office or out on the road, you were trying to persuade someone that you had something that would benefit the person. You left at the end of the day feeling defeated because you did not know how to sell your ideas.
From a young age Maynard Garfield started to solve these types of problems by training people in the art of persuasion. He called his company Persuasive Communications and sold his concepts to some of the world’s leading companies. Making the transition from the classroom to the blank page has not been easy, but “Garf,” as he likes to be called, had plenty of friends and clients ask him to write down his concepts.
“Persuasive communication can go a long way toward liberating you,“ he writes. “For many it is the key to self-empowerment.”
Because readers will bring a variety of life experiences to the book, some chapters will be more relevant than others. Someone who feels intimidated by a boss or a customer will focus on the techniques for gaining control and achieving a goal. Another might not understand the benefit offered in a negotiation and want to practice techniques for gaining the right mental attitude.
A drawer full of testimonials reveals that Garf’s lessons can be applied at home just as easily as at work. “Life works better when you accept a friend for the good you see in them and simply ignore the urge to convince them or change their mind,” he writes. ”If you are going to persuade someone of a concept, though,“ he writes, “you have to allow the person to try to feel the material, and feel comfortable with it or it isn’t theirs.”
Throughout the book Garf pounds hard on learning what works, rather than flying by the seat of your pants. “Intellectual knowledge isn’t of much use until it has become instinctual,” he writes. “I can assure you that inadequate implementation will thwart the most brilliant idea.”
From there Garf gets down to the details of learning how to deal with a concept, “which creates a need for a different way of doing something” before a brand, which is “simply an alternative way of fulfilling a concept.” Following that are practical suggestions for overcoming stage fright and changes in approaches to use with customers who use reason, sensation or emotion to make decisions.
It is hard to synthesize a lifetime of experience when you reach 80 years old, but this hits most of the highlights. Take out your marker and highlight what works best for you.